With the ceiling panels insulated and installed under the port side deck, next I got to work on the salon cabinet.
The ceiling panels under the deck are done
Dry fit the salon cabinet face panel
When we started on this refit, I was surprised to see that Chris Craft hadn’t finished the cabinet interiors with mahogany. Instead, when you opened the cabinet doors you could see the hull and douglas fir plywood floors, which they painted white. The missus doesn’t like that look (and, frankly, neither do I), so I’ll build a mahogany box to fit on the backside of the cabinet face panel, so when the doors are open we’ll see pretty wood.
Breaking down a 1/2″ sheet of mahogany plywood
The stack of plywood in the salon is getting smaller with each passing month. When it’s gone, the interior should be pretty much done.
Side panel is ready to dry fit
Good fit (though the pic is out of focus)
I considered running the panel all the way to the ceiling panel above, but I need to leave a gap for the air conditioning duct.
Fitting a 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleat for the cabinet bottom
Note the original white paint on the salon floor. That’s what you’d see when you opened the doors. I think my approach will be better.
More securely attaching the face panel
With the panel securely attached to the framing, it follows the slight curve of the deck.
The bottom panel edge needs a bit of a curve to match
That looks better
It was around this point that I realized that I made a mistake when ordering the plywood. Way back when I was dealing with the paperwork snafu and making the interior concept drawings, I used the CAD program Sketchup to estimate how many sheets of plywood I’d need. I copied the panels from the drawings and pasted them onto 4’x8′ rectangles, then counted the number of rectangles (adding a bit for waste) and ordered the plywood. While I was focused on minimizing the number of sheets of plywood I’d have to buy, I didn’t even think about grain orientation. In the pic above, you can see that the grain runs from the front of the panel to the back. But for all of the other panels, the grain runs parallel to the floor. It occurred to me at this point that it would look more pleasing to the eye if the grain for the bottom panel ran along the longest dimension. But…I’ve only got so much plywood. And for a cabinet interior, I’m not sure that it’s worth the investment to buy more expensive sheets of mahogany ply to make sure the grain is all oriented properly.
I’m going to write this off to me being an amateur and never having done cabinet work before. Once the boat’s done, I’ll probably never notice…probably.
1/8″ mahogany ply for the top cabinet panel
A slot in a strip of 1/2″ plywood will stiffen up the top panel
Fitting the aft cabinet wall panel
I took the other panels home and applied a coat of Minwax urethane varnish overnight.
The wall panel is coming together
Fuzzy pic, but a nice, tight fit
Cutting the back panel
I’m down to the last sheet of 1/8″ mahogany plywood
Ready to dry-fit the back panel
I took all these plywood pieces home and brushed on a few coats of urethane varnish. For cabinet interiors, it’s not worth setting up the spray booth and applying base and top coats of ICA clear, which I’ve used on all of the visible mahogany wall panels.
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Assembling the Port Salon Cabinet Box.